Farai Samhungu and Megan Lloyd-Laney provided communications lead on a multidisciplinary consultancy to evaluate ‘Everyone’s Child’, a feature film produced by the Media for Development Trust and distributed through commercial cinemas in southern Africa in the 1990s.
The team had to assess whether the film, funded by a range of development organisations, had achieved its twofold aims in Zimbabwe and Zambia. First, ‘to increase awareness, debate and discussion of problems that orphaned children face’ and second, ‘to empower, and equip relevant authorities and the community at large with the knowledge on caring and up-bringing of orphaned and/or distressed children’.
The consultancy used a combination of quantitative and qualitative assessment techniques to assess both the film’s reach, as well as its impact on audience perceptions and behavioural change. These included informal interviews, focus group discussions and Participatory Rural Appraisal techniques in communities where training packages were used to support the film.
Conclusions and recommendations were developed on the use of film and the supporting training video and manual; general impressions of the film and its messages; changes in awareness, attitudes and behaviours, and institutional arrangements to support outreach and uptake of the film’s core messages.
As a result of the positive evaluation, the main funders of the film, the Department for International Development, funded a sequel entitled ‘Yellow Card’, which was released in 2000 and translated into five languages.